I've experienced two types of bad perfomance in videogames:

1. The basic one, when you have a low frame rate during the game.

2. When the game is fluid in some intervals of time, but it freezes a little bit when looking around or charging images very fast.

I couldn't find better words to explain what I mean, the case is that I always wanted to know what is the reason that causes each type of bad performance. I think the first one is the GPU, which can't handle certain amount of data with high speed, but the second case intrigues me... Why is the game fluid sometimes, but freezes in some intervals? for example, you play fluid for 3 secs, then you have a little freeze and then return playing fluid. Is this the GPU too? or is it the processor, or both...

If you could give me a hand, it'd be great. (Two things, first of all, I'm sorry about my english, secondly, if this isn't an appropriate place for asking this, let me know and I'll erase or change my question). Thanks.

  • This question is near impossible to answer without giving you a thesis paper. All of those performance issues can be caused by all of the computer components which you have listen. Please provide your computer specs and the games which are presenting these problems. Helpful specs would be CPU model, GPU model, total system RAM, your OS, and the graphics/resolution settings which you are trying to plays the games. Hard drive specs could be useful if the rest of the components are good enough to run the games in question.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Dec 4 '14 at 19:08
  • Thanks a lot. I have a laptop with the following specs: CPU AMD Quad Core A10 5750M, GPU Radeon R9 M290X GDDR5 2GB, RAM 8gb, Windows 8.1, resolution 1920x1080 (The computer is the MSI GX60 3CC). The game i'm talking about is FarCry 4, I'm having the second perfomance problem with it. PS: As you can note, my computer has a good GPU, but a not so good processor. Is there a way to do most of the computation in the GPU instead of the CPU?For example, in the game ArmA2, if I put shadows detail to Very High, i get better FPS since this forces computation to be done in the GPU. Thanks for your time.
    – Daniel
    Dec 5 '14 at 18:15
  • I provided an answer so hopefully it helps. I am not aware of any way to simply perform CPU computations on a GPU without a performance penalty unless it was programmed in a specific architecture.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Dec 5 '14 at 21:09

Thank you for all of those specs. I am not sure how familiar you are with performance monitoring software but below you will find an outline of various programs you can use to monitor your laptop and figure out the exact bottleneck.

This is by no means an exhaustive list but it should point you in the right direction for figuring out how to diagnose the bottlenecks you are experiencing.

If you have access to a secondary monitor then I highly suggest you put these programs onto that second screen so that you can monitor the performance in real-time.

Task Manager

With the Task Manager you can monitor how hard your CPU is working while you play your games. If it is spiking to 100% across all of your cores then I would expect you are experiencing computational lag meaning that some calculation such as AI movement and other things are taxing your CPU. One important note about your CPU is that it has no L3 cache which means your CPU has less readily available, low-latency memory to perform computations. This would translate to more frequent trips to you system memory which is orders of magnitude slower than CPU cache.

The task manager will also show you your memory consumption but if you have 6gb or more RAM then I doubt this is causing an issue. In my screenshot I am using 3.73gb out of 16gb

See how your CPU stacks up against others here

enter image description here


With GPU-Z you will be able to see how hard your GPU is working, how high or low of a boost it is reaching, and how much dedicated VRAM is being used.

If your GPU load is always at 100% then that means the graphical demands of the game are too high so you need to lower some settings, especially anti-aliasing if you are using it.

If you are always using 2GB of VRAM that means your GPU is swapping textures between your VRAM and system RAM which can cause stuttering especially when you enter areas which haven't recently been accessed so your GPU needs to swap a bunch of data between VRAM and system RAM which can cause mild stuttering which lasts a half-second.

You can also monitor your GPU temperature which is extremely important because if your laptop does not have sufficient cooling then your GPU clock and VRAM clock will lower themselves until you are within thermal limits which can also cause stuttering if it is constantly rising and lowering.

See how your GPU stack up here. Unfortunately it's not listed but it should only be marginally lower than the R9 M295X.

enter image description here


Modern CPUs are allowed to boost or downclock their individual cores on an as-needed basis. This is governed by how much is being asked of the CPU and the current thermal state of the CPU.

Single-threaded games benefit greatly from this because you can have upwards of a 1GHz speed increase on the core being used and the rest can throttle down and conserve energy. If all 4 cores are being demanded then you will see a much smaller boost, maybe .3GHz because the CPU is always trying to stay within thermal limits. If your laptop cannot sufficiently cool the CPU then you will see a downclock across all 4 cores which can result in stuttering.

enter image description here


HWMonitor provides an easy way to watch all of your temps. You will need to research the safe operating temps of your components and recognize when their limits are being reached.

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Windows Performance Monitor

This is simply an insanely powerful monitoring tool. I will not be going over what to look for in here but feel free to search the internet to find out about it's capabilities.

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Final note

If your game is loading textures at an alarming rate then it is possible that the stuttering is caused by loading textures from the disk rather than memory. This depends highly on how the game is programmed but this is unlikely unless you were trying to use a 1GB GPU with 2GB system RAM.

Good Luck!

  • Excelent!, I'll use some of those, see the results and let you know if I need to interpret some data. Thanks!!
    – Daniel
    Dec 6 '14 at 2:57
  • 1
    Hey, how did this all work out for you?
    – MonkeyZeus
    Dec 9 '14 at 19:07
  • Excelent friend, thanks a lot! I've used mainly GPU-Z and CPU-Z.
    – Daniel
    Dec 18 '14 at 18:24

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